28 March 2011
The story in the Sunday Independent (March 27, 2011) titled “Knives out for Blade” presents a picture that our organization is part of a conspiracy to oust comrade Blade Nzimande as General Secretary of the SACP. It also says “SASCO will step up its demands for free education”, as part of this plot to weaken Blade Nzimande in order to ensure his removal as SACP General Secretary. It is not permissible that our structures should be used by anybody to drive a campaign against the SACP General Secretary using student struggles as a platform. As a matter of fact, none of our members have used our organization to achieve the removal of Blade Nzimande as SACP General Secretary. This report is therefore either a product of speculation by Sunday Independent journalist - George Matlala - or his sources sold him a huge dummy.
We will not, and will never, as an organization be involved in a campaign to oust or elect Blade Nzimande or anybody for that matter as General Secretary of the SACP. This is because as an organization we have no business entering into the internal affairs of the SACP, COSATU, ANCYL, YCL, ANC or any other fraternal structure for that matter. Our alliance allows for dual membership, the views our members hold as individual members of the SACP do not reflect the views of SASCO as an organization. We appeal to the media and all sectors of society to make this distinction. We also appeal to some SACP members to desist from speaking as anonymous agents as they did when they spoke to George Matlala last week when they argued that SASCO’s Free Education Campaign is “being used to put pressure on Nzimande in an anti-communist campaign” (Sunday Independent, March 20, 2011).
SASCO has been engaged in the campaign for Free Education long before Nzimande even became Minister of Higher Education. Who was being conspired against then? We are still to engage in a campaign for Universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape, will this be another cog in the conspiracy against Nzimande? We are still to mobilize students in a student services campaign, in a career guidance campaign, against the New Tendency, and against capitalism in general, will this be a conspiracy against Nzimande too? Nothing short of closing shop until the SACP 2012 conference would be good enough for the conspiracy theorists. Or we would turn into uncritical lap-dogs of the Minister of Higher Education and Training. This is not going to happen
The allegations that have been made about our organization in the past week have greatly pained us as the leadership of the organization. This is particularly because there is no fact to these allegations. Actually, we are convinced that this sudden attempt to portray us as an organization abusing its role is an attempt to derail our struggle for Free Education. The actual conspiracy here is to divert public attention from our Free Education campaign into some other arena that has nothing and will never have anything to do with our organization. We call on all our structures to ignore these attempts to derail them from the real target but to continue mobilizing students for Free Education.
The only conspiracy we plead guilty to one to ensure the implementation of Free Education. We are part of a conspiracy to defeat financial exclusions. We are part of a conspiracy to defeat unemployment. We are part of a conspiracy to defeat capitalism. We certainly are not involved in petty conspiracies that have nothing to do with what our organization stands for.
Mbulelo Mandlana, President – 071 879 3408
Lazola Ndamase, Secretary General - 082 679 8718